When she was 17, Mélanie wanted to participate in a television program that at the time had an audience of millions. She was invited to the casting, posed lightly dressed – and for dubious reasons she joined the next round of the show “Loft Story”. She was prophesied that there could be a “before and after” for her. A few years later, the cult moments of this show would be available on YouTube.
The very first comment that an internet user made on one of these videos sounded like an oracle: “The era where the gates of hell were opened.”
Become famous with videos of your own children
Mélanie’s success on that show was not great at the time. But 18 years later, she has understood how she becomes famous and rich: She now has two children, whose lives she films. She posts these little videos on the internet. She has an incredible number of followers and gets a lot of money for ad units. Then her daughter Kimmy disappears without a trace, and the criminal police begin the investigation. Inspector Clara discovers this parallel world:
“It is a world whose existence is beyond our imagination.” This six-year-old girl had disappeared into the world, the real world, which Clara could roughly assess the dangers of. But Kimmy Diore had grown up in a parallel world, a completely artificial world, a virtual world that she, Clara, did not know. This world obeyed rules she knew nothing about.
Delphine de Vigan holds up a brutally lit mirror
In Delphine de Vigan’s novel, those who know little or nothing about everything that goes on in this artificial parallel world of the Internet quickly learn to an abysmal thrill. Those who already knew are being held up to a brutally lit mirror. De Vigan shows the mechanisms and dangers in small episodes and observations that at first seem quite inconspicuous. This is written with a razor-sharp mind. We probably live like frogs in hot water with the eternal participation in the world’s knowledge and information and do not notice that the water heats up more and more until we are somehow boiled in it.
More and more young adults are no longer leaving their homes, they are no longer going to the theater or the cinema, not even to the supermarket. They consume products (food, cosmetics, electronics, culture) delivered to their homes and communicate through increasingly sophisticated interfaces or video games. It’s the price of making them feel safe.
“The children are kings”: Recommended as school reading
The war, which we are so excited about at the moment, is of course also shown on the internet. Millions of people take the opportunity to follow the cruel acts of war live. It will not worry those who are waging war. We do not know what psychological consequences it has for the viewer. It would be great if this book by Delphine de Vigan became a school reading right away. It’s really exciting enough to capture readers of all ages.
The children are kings
by Delphine de Vigan
- Page number:
- 320 pages
- More info:
- Translated from the French by Doris Heinemann.
- Release Date:
- March 7, 2022
- Order number:
- € 23.00